Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Singapore, 2013

Red Bull streets ahead in Singapore

2013 Singapore Grand Prix Friday practice analysis

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Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Singapore, 2013Red Bull were the team to beat at Singapore on Friday: the RB9 was a second quicker around the Marina Bay circuit than any other car – in Sebastian Vettel’s hands at least.

It fits the recent pattern of Red Bull being substantially quicker than their rivals during Friday practice, but not as far ahead on Saturday. Still it’s hard to see even the likes of Mercedes finding the second they need to catch their rivals within the next 24 hours.

Lewis Hamilton topped the times for Mercedes in the first practice session but was less happy with his W04 later in the evening. “The balance of the car felt really good in first practice but it definitely went away from us in second practice,” he said.

The early signs haven’t been encouraging for Ferrari, who hoped to be closer to Red Bull’s pace on F1’s return to a higher downforce track. But Fernando Alonso found himself behind both Mercees and a Lotus while Felipe Massa languished in 15th.

“We decided to go in another direction to try and find a set-up with which I was more comfortable on this track,” explained Massa. “Unfortunately this did not produce the results we were expecting.”

Vettel’s fastest lap in second practice was over four seconds faster than he managed in the same session last year. Mercedes estimate less than half of that – 1.5 seconds – has come from the changes to turn ten, which is now a left-hand turn instead of a chicane.

The rest of the time gain is likely to come from the resurfacing work done at the track. Turns one to three, the exit of turn five, turns eight to nine, part of turn ten, the entry to turn 14 and part of the pit straight have all been repaved.

The teams also discovered a significant gap in performance between Pirelli’s medium compound tyre and the super-soft. The tyre manufacture estimated the super-softs were worth two seconds per lap, but some drivers found even more than that.

“It?s strange how much of a difference there seems to be between the tyres,” said Jenson Button. “I found about three seconds from my [medium] run to my [super-soft] run.”

“On the long runs at the end of second practice, the [super-soft] tyre felt good; but, as soon as we put the [medium] tyre on, there was lower grip and we struggled to get good balance.”

Here’s all the data from practice for the Singapore Grand Prix:

Longest stint comparison

This chart shows all the drivers’ lap times (in seconds) during their longest unbroken stint:

Sebastian Vettel111.106113.671110.952111.06111.271113.001123.271111.336113.632111.872112.385111.604111.795112.795
Mark Webber111.504110.934130.298110.938111.152111.452112.853117.606110.907111.101111.465112.887111.496111.626
Fernando Alonso113.092116.559112.435112.558117.155112.633112.924114.998113.016113.766114.088113.733114.039113.733114.437
Felipe Massa116.804112.473128.368113.418112.836119.146112.616113.404119.134113.382113.572
Jenson Button113.113112.717112.325115.058112.759117.844112.674
Sergio Perez111.85112.565112.623112.96118.277112.681112.394112.785112.906
Kimi Raikkonen111.125111.527111.515112.339112.48112.593119.329114.608112.454113.018113.706
Romain Grosjean105.411119.455105.681122.278105.903
Nico Rosberg116.077113.427113.31112.953119.128113.194113.655113.843119.899113.615
Lewis Hamilton114.571114.354107.166118.788106.577131.011115.497
Nico Hulkenberg114.024114.567114.479114.958115.204114.1114.425114.682114.575115.286115.164
Esteban Gutierrez112.654115.113113.831113.03114.117112.419113.747113.577114.514114.017114.429
Paul di Resta113.199113.356114.364113.013120.431118.428112.728112.792112.607
Adrian Sutil111.502112.621112.36112.931113.517114.355112.926
Pastor Maldonado115.099113.803113.555113.974113.758114.081
Valtteri Bottas117.381114.423115.316114.125114.445115.226114.872115.137115.781
Jean-Eric Vergne113.674113.039113.95114.938113.714114.613114.022113.486112.923115.397113.821
Daniel Ricciardo114.883113.74114.286114.202114.364114.32114.412116.038114.267114.63115.384114.79114.764115.229
Charles Pic117.421118.529116.913116.408116.614116.973116.714119.964119.441116.38120.838116.126119.743115.884116.761116.636116.976
Giedo van der Garde116.939116.289116.946116.858117.538116.648116.615116.758119.639116.925117.107118.167117.415117.756116.971118.022117.344
Jules Bianchi116.032116.798115.012115.221122.034115.07114.881115.475115.443
Max Chilton116.823116.978116.817116.6117.213117.236118.18120.002119.386118.88117.921118.6122.283

Sector times and ultimate lap times

PosNo.DriverCarS1S2S3UltimateGapDeficit to best
11Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault28.317 (1)39.889 (1)36.043 (1)1’44.2490.000
22Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault28.350 (3)40.123 (2)36.380 (3)1’44.8530.6040.000
310Lewis HamiltonMercedes28.343 (2)40.482 (7)36.420 (4)1’45.2450.9960.123
49Nico RosbergMercedes28.413 (4)40.466 (6)36.379 (2)1’45.2581.0090.000
58Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault28.500 (6)40.274 (3)36.527 (5)1’45.3011.0520.110
63Fernando AlonsoFerrari28.474 (5)40.377 (4)36.840 (10)1’45.6911.4420.000
75Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes28.516 (7)40.500 (8)36.738 (7)1’45.7541.5050.000
87Kimi RaikkonenLotus-Renault28.542 (8)40.460 (5)36.755 (8)1’45.7571.5080.021
915Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes28.630 (11)40.661 (11)36.711 (6)1’46.0021.7530.000
106Sergio PerezMcLaren-Mercedes28.670 (12)40.558 (9)36.797 (9)1’46.0251.7760.000
1119Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso-Ferrari28.766 (13)40.625 (10)36.943 (12)1’46.3342.0850.072
1218Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Ferrari28.775 (14)40.754 (12)36.900 (11)1’46.4292.1800.000
1314Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes28.605 (10)40.965 (15)37.036 (14)1’46.6062.3570.000
144Felipe MassaFerrari28.568 (9)41.108 (17)37.078 (15)1’46.7542.5050.116
1511Nico HulkenbergSauber-Ferrari28.863 (15)40.909 (13)36.996 (13)1’46.7682.5190.040
1612Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari28.982 (16)41.092 (16)37.213 (17)1’47.2873.0380.000
1717Valtteri BottasWilliams-Renault29.022 (17)40.947 (14)37.465 (18)1’47.4343.1850.000
1816Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault29.211 (18)41.311 (18)37.163 (16)1’47.6853.4360.076
1921Giedo van der GardeCaterham-Renault29.602 (22)41.785 (20)38.047 (19)1’49.4345.1850.000
2022Jules BianchiMarussia-Cosworth29.489 (19)41.777 (19)38.230 (22)1’49.4965.2470.235
2120Charles PicCaterham-Renault29.521 (20)41.895 (21)38.110 (20)1’49.5265.2770.000
2223Max ChiltonMarussia-Cosworth29.531 (21)41.903 (22)38.185 (21)1’49.6195.3700.000

Complete practice times

PosDriverCarFP1FP2Total laps
1Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’47.8851’44.24953
2Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’47.4201’44.85350
3Nico RosbergMercedes1’48.2391’45.25857
4Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’47.0551’45.36853
5Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1’48.3551’45.41130
6Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’48.3621’45.69153
7Jenson ButtonMcLaren1’49.6081’45.75450
8Kimi RaikkonenLotus-Renault1’48.3541’45.77850
9Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes1’50.0921’46.00247
10Sergio PerezMcLaren1’49.2671’46.02551
11Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso-Ferrari1’50.7571’46.40650
12Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Ferrari1’49.3481’46.42956
13Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’49.8871’46.60651
14Nico HulkenbergSauber-Ferrari1’50.2221’46.80853
15Felipe MassaFerrari1’49.4931’46.87049
16Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari1’49.3551’47.28750
17Valtteri BottasWilliams-Renault1’49.5101’47.43454
18Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault1’49.4811’47.76145
19Giedo van der GardeCaterham-Renault1’52.9201’49.43458
20Charles PicCaterham-Renault1’53.6471’49.52657
21Max ChiltonMarussia-Cosworth1’52.6731’49.61948
22Jules BianchiMarussia-Cosworth1’52.3591’49.73146

Speed trap

#DriverCarEngineMax speed (kph)Gap
115Adrian SutilForce IndiaMercedes290.2
210Lewis HamiltonMercedesMercedes289.80.4
314Paul di RestaForce IndiaMercedes289.30.9
46Sergio PerezMcLarenMercedes289.30.9
54Felipe MassaFerrariFerrari2891.2
65Jenson ButtonMcLarenMercedes288.71.5
79Nico RosbergMercedesMercedes288.61.6
817Valtteri BottasWilliamsRenault288.41.8
92Mark WebberRed BullRenault287.92.3
101Sebastian VettelRed BullRenault287.82.4
1120Charles PicCaterhamRenault287.72.5
123Fernando AlonsoFerrariFerrari287.32.9
1318Jean-Eric VergneToro RossoFerrari287.13.1
1419Daniel RicciardoToro RossoFerrari286.43.8
1522Jules BianchiMarussiaCosworth2864.2
1616Pastor MaldonadoWilliamsRenault285.74.5
1721Giedo van der GardeCaterhamRenault2855.2
1812Esteban GutierrezSauberFerrari284.26
1923Max ChiltonMarussiaCosworth283.86.4
2011Nico HulkenbergSauberFerrari283.76.5
217Kimi RaikkonenLotusRenault282.87.4
228Romain GrosjeanLotusRenault282.57.7

2013 Singapore Grand Prix

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Image ?? Red Bull/Getty

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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33 comments on “Red Bull streets ahead in Singapore”

  1. *yawn* Let’s get this season over with and move on to 2014. Hopefully the significant changes to the cars will bring some more interesting, wheel-to-wheel racing, rather than another run of Schumacher-style “racing”.

    1. I hear “wheel-to-wheel-racing” very highly spoken of. Can you think of four seasons in the last twenty which have featured a lot of it?

      1. No, and I guess that is the problem. The only solution is to make all the cars equal, GP2/3 style. But then what is the point of F1, being the premier class of motor racing, the cutting edge of technology?

        I think i’ve got to the point where I don’t really care about all the little tweaks of the car’s balance, the subtle changes to the aerodynamics, the different tyres etc.. I just want to see who is the best driver when everyone’s technology is pretty much equal.

        1. @gribz tight rules are suppose to produce wheel-to-wheel competition but…

        2. @gribz, I see the equalization of F1 as the problem rather than the solution. There are many areas of development other than aero-dynamics where performance can be improved but they are all banned, the end result is all those little tweaks and subtle changes which result in the team with the best aero-dynamics department dominating.

      2. @jonsan, good question, bad answer, no!, unfortunately, re-fueling, aero-dependance and degradable tyres have all worked against the essence of racing which is wheel to wheel racing.

        1. I never believed refueling had anything to do with it. The only reason f1 is so professional is the dependence on wing aero. Look at v8 supercars or nascar, both have refueling in every race, and both have more overtaking, and more wheel to wheel racing in one event than f1 has in a whole season

          1. @fangio85, good point, however I think re-fuelling exacerbated the aero problem by using the pits and variable fuel load to gain positions that could not be gained by on-track passing.

          2. V8 Supercars? More overtaking? You jest sir!
            In some ways it’s even more processional than F1…and it’s artificial fiddling with the rules that achieved that too..

        2. My question was largely rhetorical. In the twenty years I’ve been watching F1 I have not seen very much wheel to wheel racing. From what I know of years prior to that, it was always somewhat of a rarity. Which is why I find complaints about ts current absence (or implied absence compared to “what used to be”) to be puzzling.

          F1 cars spend very little time racing alongside each other. There’s probably a host of reasons why that is so – I think the narrowness of the tracks/wideness of the cars is an important factor, but there are several others. Whatever the reasons though, the paucity of wheel-to–wheel racing seems to be a permanent feature of the sport and not one attributable to “the Vettel Era” or “the Schumacher Era”.

          1. @baron
            I’m not sure what you are watching but that is simply wrong. In the sandown 500 alone I saw more changes of position on track than I remember ever seeing in an f1 race, and that’s only using the latest v8 race, which was on a hard to pass circuit, as an example. Also, how do you define rule changes as ‘artificial’? Lol. It’s got no push to pass or drs, all the overtaking on track is due to actual racing, not pushing buttons. The latest rule changes in v8 were to bring costs down, make cars safer, and lure new manufacturers to the sport. All of which have been achieved. The racing is waaay closer in v8s than f1, to try say it isn’t is ridiculous lol. BTW, I prefer f1, but only because of the engineering and technicality of it, not because of the racing.

    2. The ironic thing is that probably we’ll get even more boring and dominant races next year.

      1. Yep, if there is one team that will be above the others, I hope it will be Ferrari because we’ll see the battle between Fernando and Kimi

  2. With the super soft so much faster, it may actually be the preferred race tyre, provided you can keep a set of new ones for Sunday. Also, despite Red Bull and possibly Mercedes being a lot faster than the rest, it could be tricky for them to get through to Q2 on the mediums – and very embarrassing if one of them doesn’t.

    So far, though, the weekend does not surprise. Red Bull are extremely quick, and Mercedes are quick too but struggling to find the right setup, which they might well find in time for Q3. So I’m going for a surprised Hamilton on pole ;-)

    1. If they ran in Q1 and Q2 with the same set of options, that would be best; 1 or 2 laps in Q1 wouldn’t take too much life out of the tyres, which would mean they can get into Q3 on 1 set of tyres.

  3. Again, Red Bull not last in the speed trap. They really changed their philosophy.

    1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      20th September 2013, 22:25

      @mike-dee no, it’s more like they improved their own game double than what other teams have done. Because when you see the first races, Red Bull was not really THAT ahead of Lotus, Mercede or Ferrari. Remember that Lotus won the first and Ferrari the third one. So they were almost equal. Now Red Bull looks “streets ahead” while the fight for the second WCC place is still being fought hard.

    2. Yes indeed, looks like Newey is anticipating next years need to reduce drag and putting more effort into streamlineing without reducing downforce.

      1. 2nd. thoughts, could they be reducing friction in the drivetrain to gain more available power at the wheels, at the risk of gearbox frailty?

    3. You shouldn’t forget that the speed trap is set up at the end of the pit straight and not at the fastest point of the track. The sector one speed trap is better indication of relative top speeds.

      1. I see, I hadn’t considered this. I guess a bit like in Spa. Are the sector 1 speed trap speeds available somewhere?

  4. I still believe that Mercedes will take pole position. They usually sandbag in practice, and then show their true one-lap form in qualy (as we saw in China, Spain, Hungary, and Belgium).

    However, in the race I don’t really expect anything other than a Vettel win, sadly, unless Merc can pull off another Monaco.

  5. Interesting to see Massa be the only one to break into the Mercedes-powered logjam at the top of the speed trap, and so far ahead of Alonso. Could they be toying with a “go-for-broke” setup, or is it just that Alonso is using an old engine to keep wear off the one he wants to use in Yeongam, Suzuka, COTA, or Interlagos? I know it’s just a speed trap, but that’s a significant gap.

  6. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    21st September 2013, 1:55

    As I suspected, Ferrari are in just as much trouble as they were in Hungary. Belgium and Monza just disguised their performance somewhat because they’re less reliant on downforce.

    Ferrari are in big trouble.

  7. looks like another Red Dull weekend

  8. Wow. I was very impressed by the Red Bull’s long runs today in FP2. Whereas in the first part of the season it was Mercedes dominating over one lap and Ferrari and Lotus looking really competitive over the long runs on Friday, here Red Bull just looked in a class of their own in both categories.

    I hope somebody can get in front of Vettel tomorrow, but even if a Merc manages it, I suspect during the race one of the Bulls will be able to undercut or muscle past on fresher tyres at a later stage. I don’t hold out much hope for Alonso to take any points off Vettel either, so the only real challenger (if you can call being 53 points back even that) to Vettel in this championship will drop even further back.

    1. I think Newey wants to ensure both World Championships as fast as possible to concentrate on 2014 ^^

  9. … and its back to a car being 1 sec a lap quicker than the competition.

    Might as well watch reruns of the 2002 and 2004 seasons.

    1. I don’t think they are really 1 sec faster. In my opinion Merc has been sandbagging as usual and will strike in qualy today. Also on race distance Ferrari and Lotus will be much closer.

      If it proves in the race though that Vettel is 1 sec per lap faster, other teams should just focus on next year as this year is decided.

    2. 2002 and 2004 were boring since race n°1, this year, we only saw a clear dominance of Red Bull since the second half of the season

  10. With the difference between super-soft and medium being so extreme (3 or more seconds), I think we will see mostly 3 stops despite the pit lane differential being quite large. So it would be super-soft, super-soft, super-soft and the last lap on mediums? Last year, it was 2 or 3 stops already with a much smaller difference between compunds (although this might have been due to safety car as well).

    1. I’m thinking of a one pit-stop race, we’ll see ^^

      1. So not even Pirelli can save us :(

Comments are closed.